May 21, 2024


Think Differently

Sunlight Existence aims to save 400 hours of staff members time with ESG prioritization tool

Canadian monetary solutions firm uses device to make your mind up which ESG rankings and rankings to concentration on

How should companies divide their time between the hundreds of ESG ratings, rankings and assessments that request their interest?

At Sunshine Life, the Canadian financial companies business, the sustainability crew has occur up with a solution: an ESG prioritization device that ranks companies into various categories.

Alanna Boyd, senior vice president and main sustainability officer at Sunshine Existence, tells IR Journal the tool is anticipated to free of charge up close to ‘400 hours’ a 12 months of internal team time, which can be shifted to larger-value functions.

Boyd, whose enterprise was nominated for ideal ESG reporting (huge cap) at the IR Magazine Awards – Canada 2024, claims Solar Daily life takes advantage of a selection of channels to get its sustainability details into the arms of essential stakeholders.

Scores and rankings are one particular of these routes, but the substantial quantity of companies – Boyd claims there are now more than 600 – usually means it’s impossible to deal with them all.

The aim of the instrument is to make confident the appropriate information and facts is having into the suitable arms, whilst handing back time to internal groups, states Boyd.

Departments operating specifically on scores and rankings profit, but so do others that give the raw knowledge, these kinds of as HR. ‘We’re incredibly optimistic,’ she states. ‘It’s early times, but it is likely to help save us time throughout the business.’

3 buckets

Boyd states the resource has a very simple system. Created in the summer season of 2023, it’s built within an Excel spreadsheet and is made up of 3 requirements by which every single external provider is ranked.

The initially bucket appears to be like at the resource need across the business. The second focuses on benchmarking, considering places these kinds of as sector relevance and irrespective of whether the output is created general public.

The third, which Boyd suggests is the really essential a person, is known as the stakeholder benefit multiplier. It examines the value of the rating, ranking or assessment to the company’s distinct stakeholders.

‘All three criteria are rolled up,’ she describes. ‘Then we assign a prioritization on a red, yellow or green score. The eco-friendly types are greater priority. We want to make sure we’re really digging in, answering the questions and expending added time.’

Sunshine Lifestyle also makes use of the course of action of examining the ratings and rankings to identify rising ESG themes for the organization.

‘We’re in a position to then use that information to strategically tutorial our hole assessments and the do the job we want to prioritize for the next calendar year,’ suggests Boyd, incorporating that these pursuits turn into simpler as soon as you have a condensed listing of scores and rankings to target on.

Ongoing checking

Since building the instrument, Sunshine Lifestyle has shifted about the time it spends on some rankings, suggests Boyd. But the procedure of evaluation will need to be ongoing. She details out, for example, that some suppliers carry on to improve the selection of questions they talk to every single year.

Other elements that could impact the company’s technique include things like the enhancement of worldwide sustainability reporting guidelines and new countrywide polices in Canada.

‘The desire for scores, rankings and assessments has been [driven by] the absence of international standardized equivalent reporting for buyers,’ states Boyd.

‘As that gets to be a lot more standardized, harmonized and international, there will carry on to be shifts… We’re carrying out our 1st regulated local climate report on 2024 knowledge in 2025 – probably the have to have to commit some time on specified scores, rankings and assessments [will be] less since we need to have to spend far more time on the actual noted and controlled disclosures.’

What tips would Boyd give to IR and sustainability pros wanting to prioritize their have tactic?

Collaboration involving distinctive teams is critical, she claims, as it demands a combine of know-how to comprehend how greatest to meet stakeholder desires. In addition, she underlines the great importance of stepping back each as soon as in a whilst and reassessing how you are accomplishing points.

‘Always be asking individuals inquiries – how can we do this greater?’ she states. ‘How can we be a lot more thoughtful about the load we’re inserting throughout the corporation?

Without a doubt, a person of the positive aspects of the ESG prioritization resource is that it allows to carve out time that can be spent on strategic organizing, notes Boyd. ‘These are the type of tasks that enable us do that,’ she suggests.